HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Debt Collection - The HMRC Way

My thanks to a loyal reader who sent me this rather "amusing" story about a recent visit to a pub, which had itself been visited earlier by a bailiff acting on behalf of HMRC.

I reproduce the text, but cannot vouch for its accuracy as I was not in that pub on that evening.

"I popped into my local pub last night, which happens to be in northern England. The male landlord hadn't had the best of days and a 'letter' was circulating the bar from HMRC.

Apparently when going about his business earlier in the day, he went outside to get into his car only to be confronted by an unknown individual. Apparently a bailiff acting on behalf of HMRC and pursuing a not inconsiderable amount, of unpaid VAT.

The bailiff acting on behalf of HMRC set about haranguing the landlord and subsequently serving this unsealed HMRC letter upon the landlord.

Not impressed the landlord of the pub drove off 'having had enough'. (You can imagine the conversation, and fill in the blanks when you finish reading this).

The HMRC letter that was circulating the pub was a photocopy of a letter from HMRC in Peterborough. The bailiff had hand written over it addressing it to an individual at the pub address, and written on the bottom that he would be returning the following day to remove the landlord's car (distraint etc).

You can understand why the landlord wasn't impressed.

The only problem is the unsealed, hand delivered HMRC letter was addressed to the LANDLADY (let's say she's called Mary), who was in the pub about three years ago, and there have been several landlords in the pub since!

I can't begin to count the number of 'indiscretions' this bailiff has committed, let alone breaches of legislation, but you would imagine serving an open letter addressed to Mary, a female upon a male, would at least be obvious to most people in the UK – clearly not HMRC representatives.

I did however make a note of his telephone number if anyone wants it.

You couldn't begin to make it up!

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Not an experience with HMRC but a similar experience in idiocy. I know a bloke who had SKY cut him off because they said he lived in a pub. The nearest pub is about six miles from his house. He's told them so and given them all sorts of proof, but they still say he lives in a pub and should pay the pub rate for SKY.

  2. Sounds about right for the cretins at HMRC who consider everyones personal data is fair game to disclose to anyone.
    In this instance it is to be hoped that HMRC were reported to the Information Commissioner to explain (yet again) why they disregard individuals privacy.
    I bet the Information Commissioner has a whole team dedicated to HMRC cock-ups.

  3. Sorry, am i missing something? A man walks up to another man flashing a PHOTOCOPIED letter with a handwritten and incorrect name and address and CLAIMS to be a bailiff acting on behalf of HMRC and a) you believe him and b) start slagging off HMRC?

    Have a constructive pop as much as you like but misaiming broadsides on shaky secondhand accounts of third parties only weakens your case.

  4. bollocks to the above - The Laurel & Hardy act that is HMRC know no limits to their incompetency. I would believe everything that ridicules them before I would believe any iota of praise. As a long term employee of this wonderful organisation absolutely nothing would surprise me......

  5. "I would believe everything that ridicules them before I would believe anything factually accurate."

    I've fixed that for you.

  6. 15 February 2011 22:28

    The trouble is that anything factually correct would probably ridicule HMRC as well.

  7. As one of the greatest detractors of HMRC I can believe everything about this incident,however I have always tried to be as fair as possible. To this end I have to state that I am now in hospital in a state of deep shock, having telephoned the NIC office at Longbenton yesterday regarding an incorrect bill for self employed NI contributions, today I received an amended bill showing the correct amount. Turnround in under 24 hrs. Now that does take some believing.

  8. 15 February 2011 23:20, are you sure?

  9. HMRC ate my hamster. No, really. I heard about in a pub. Somewhere.